The New Rockville Police Beat to Begin on Sunday

Two veterans will lead the new charge from 21 Ward St.

A familiar face is coming back to a new version of his old assignment in Rockville.

Charles Hicking, an eight-year veteran of the Vernon Police Department, will be front-and-center when a beat specifically designed for the Rockville section of Vernon begins on Sunday, Lt. Mel Hardy said on Thursday.

He was once a community policing officer working out of the Rockville substation located at 21 Ward St. Budget cuts eliminated the position and Hicking went into narcotics work, Hardy said.

He applied to work in Rockville once the position was announced by Mayor George Apel two weeks ago, Hardy said.

Hicking will be joined on the beat by Robert Marra, a six-year veteran of the force, Hardy said,

The officers will be in both uniforms and plain clothes depending the situation, and the hours of the shift will rotate, Hardy said. 

The patrols will be on foot, in cars and even on full-equipped police bicycles, Hardy said.

Hardy and Lt. William Meier said bringing the Rockville beat back to life is in response to several crimes in the area recently. But they also said it has a lot to do with rapport.

"This will give us an increased police presence in Rockville," Hardy said. "But it is also a chance for two officers to get to know the members of the  community - good and bad - and a chance for the community to get to know the officers." 

The officers will be based out of the Ward Street substation and patrols should reach downtown, to the Ellington line and down Union Street a bit, Meier said.

"It's about visibility - getting to know everybody," Hardy said.

The Rockville Community Alliance is also on board with the community policing concept, Hardy said. Hardy said police representatives will attend the May 29 meeting of the RCA to discuss ways to volunteer in a community advocacy program.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Bev's Corner, 3 Elm St.

"This is about partnerships in the community," Meier said. "We want to strenthen existing relationships with the residents and busoness owners in Rockville and enforcement will also be a part of that."


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